7 Signs You’re Winning at Life

Michael Flores
7 min readDec 10, 2020

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” — Maya Angelou

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Photo by Dušan Smetana on Unsplash

Life feels pretty hard, sometimes.

I don’t know many people who bound out of bed every day charged with excitement about the day ahead. Most of us groan when the alarm sounds — and scramble out of bed because We Have To.

Even without Covid hanging all around, there are so many ways life can challenge us. And it’s rare to have all your “stuff” — work, relationships, friendships, family, side hustle, whatever — in great shape at the same time.

You can only do your best, you can only try (and keep trying) to pick your way through the proverbial forest, one tree at a time.

Winning isn’t about smashing the competition or being first or filling a cabinet with trophies — especially now, in a world that’s hard to figure out. This is what 2020 winning looks like.

7 Signs You’re Winning at Life

“Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.” — Dr Seuss

1. You have a plan for your future (and you’re working on it).

Maybe you’re stuck in a job you hate, maybe Covid has narrowed your options? And, some days, that doesn’t feel great at all. But you have a picture in your head of what you want your future to be (and the person you want to be within it) and you’re taking active, daily steps towards it.

2. You don’t waste time on entertainment that’s going nowhere.

Look, everyone loves a good phone scroll or a Netflix binge or a night of utterly pointless entertainment with friends. No problem there. But how much of your life are you handing over to it? If your long nights in bars or on the couch with the remote or diving down internet rabbit holes are starting to make you feel like life’s slipping through your fingers, take note. Do stuff. Learn things. Take action. Time passes slowly, then all at once. And it’s not coming back, no matter how nice you are to it.

3. You’re happily single or fully yourself within your relationship.

You’re happy with your relationship status, whatever it is. You’re not in a dead-end relationship just to stave off loneliness or to keep up with your friends or just because you’re too scared not to be. And, if you are with someone, you feel great — not just because of them, but because of the freedom the relationship gives you to reveal your own brand of crazy, to be fully who you are — and to keep finding out.

4. You make an effort for important others (and just others!)https://ppgdemo.planetpayment.com/administrator/product-images/bew/d-v-g-1.html
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You don’t neglect your friends/family. You especially don’t neglect them for people you know that are either not great for you or who won’t be around in a year or two. You’re decent to people generally, too. And all those who cross your path would vouch for that: that you’re not one of those people who treats retail and hospo staff like gum under their shoes.

5. You have your addictions/weaknesses under control.

Porn, alcohol, drugs, food, money, shopping, emotions/moods, sex — whatever taps your vulnerability, you have it sorted. Or you’re working on it, not in a vague way, but seriously. Most of all you’re not allowing these things to interfere with your general ability to function — your health, work, study, relationships, friendships, activities/interests…your life…your future.

6. You treat yourself well — consistently.

It’s great if you like, or even love, yourself. But for many people that’s a tough ask, due to their background and life experiences. So Loving Yourself is not the goal. It’s easier than that. All you have to do is to treat yourself as well as you can. That means looking after your body, mind and spirit; if you want it more bluntly: finding time to exercise and sit still, not abusing yourself with toxic-anythings and saying mean things about your looks, thoughts and actions. Be kind in the world, sure, but be kind to yourself first.

7. You have something in your world that makes you come alive.

Not another person — that’s cheating. You have something all of your own that makes you feel great. Maybe it’s an untapped part of yourself you’re quietly developing, maybe it’s a passionate interest you can’t wait to get back to. Extra points if it’s something that makes a contribution beyond your own needs, to other people or the world generally. As Howard Thurman said: “ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.”

Thanks for reading! Join my email list here if you’re interested in practical psychology for everyday life.

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